I can't help laughing cynically at the outrage expressed by US Congressional representative Bobby Rush (D - Illinois) and Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot (christened "Groot" by the always useful Second City Cop blog, which has chronicled her missteps and foibles since she took office, including some rather revealing history).
The story begins with this news report.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush on Thursday condemned images they said depicted Chicago police officers making popcorn, drinking coffee and sleeping on a couch in the congressman’s campaign office while nearby businesses were being looted amid unrest nearly two weeks ago.
The revelation came at an unusual City Hall news conference where the former political enemies stood united, with Rush praising Lightfoot’s leadership and the mayor apologizing to the veteran congressman on behalf of the city.
“That’s a personal embarrassment to me,” Lightfoot said of the scene that played out inside Rush’s Fuller Park political office. “I’m sorry that you and your staff even had to deal with this incredible indignity."
. . .
Lightfoot pledged to hold them accountable for their actions.
“Not one of these officers will be allowed to hide behind the badge and go on and act like nothing ever happened,” she said.
There's more at the link.
Sounds bad, doesn't it? I wasn't surprised to read it, though. When the Mayor and her city administration spend most of their time bad-mouthing the police (and blaming them for problems largely caused by their elected and appointed administrators), it was no surprise to me that officers would prefer to remain somewhere peaceful rather than risk being publicly pilloried yet again for trying to do their jobs.
However, the story didn't end there. Second City Cop confirms that the officers were assigned to Congressman Rush's office, to protect it after it had been burglarized (presumably by rioters). They weren't sheltering from the riots or ignoring them - they were where they were supposed to be, on duty. As SCC notes, "The officers were wrong in availing themselves of popcorn and coffee that wasn't theirs, but they were ordered to hold that position with no relief and, tactically, no ability to stop hundreds of persons bent on mayhem." Puts a different complexion on the matter, doesn't it?
Now the news media are becoming aware of the real story. For example:
Second City Cop notes, "It was an assigned detail. Rush has been lying his entire life, from the "racial profiling" that didn't happen, to being the insider who set up Fred Hampton. Groot's hatred of the CPD has blinded her to this fact."
I think there's a whole lot more to this case than meets the eye. It looks very much as if Rush and Lightfoot were trying to manufacture more "dirt" with which to smear the Chicago Police Department. I await further developments with interest, and I'll be reading Second City Cop to get the inside story. If you're not familiar with Chicago, and want the lowdown on its crime and law enforcement situation, SCC is the place to go.